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Snapshots vs Stomp, thoughts on why one vs the other


amsdenj
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Most of you are familiar with Helix snapshot and stomp modes. Snapshots can store up to 64 parameters and block bypass states, and a patch can have up to 8 snapshots. This is a great way to make big patch configuration changes in the middle of a song. I use snapshots for Variax open tunings, quick acoustic guitar configuration in an otherwise electric patch, switching in a post amp Leslie, changing a patch for a different guitar, etc. 

 

Stomp switches can control up to 8 things, block states, or parameter min/max values. You can configure Helix to support 10 stomp foot switches.

 

So why would you use stomp vs snapshots since there's some overlap in their capabilities? Snapshots' big advantage is the number of parameters they can control, and that they can set the specific values of those parameters. However stomp switches have a couple of big advantages over snapshots you might want to consider when configuring your patches. First there can be 10 stomp foot switches, but only 8 snapshot foot switches. That might not seem like much, but my patches use all 10 of those foot switches all the time.

 

The biggest advantage of stomp foot switches though is that they can be combined. Any of the 10 foot switches can be on or off allowing you to layer sounds on top of sounds. You could for example turn on a distortion block at the start of a solo, add another distortion block or boost party way through the solo, add an octavia, and/or Uni-Vibe, all by just turning foot switches on and off. But you can do more than that. A foot switch could be used to "channel switch" and amp by changing the min to max drive, turning down the bass and presence, lowering the high-cut on the cab or IR block, etc. Then you can turn on a distortion block with the the channel switch on or off to get different distortion levels and voicings, all while having all your other effects directly available on other foot switches.

 

You can also combine these two approaches. Switch to snapshot mode to select the desired snapshot, then switch back to stomp mode to use foot switches to control things within the snapshot. That takes some tap dancing on the Mode switch, but its something that with a little practice and good shoes isn't too difficult.

 

Ultimately Helix provides three levels of tone configuration: patches, snapshots within a patch, and foot switches to control thing within a snapshot. You can think about this in terms of patches for songs, snapshots for sections of songs, and foot switches for changing things within the section. This highlights the simplicity and flexibility of Helix for live performance.

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Great summary. Reading the title of the post I thought you were asking the question but after reading it I see you are answering the question. Perhaps you could edit the title to make that clear. Right now you will attract readers who believe they can help answer the question, whereas the readers you want to attract are those who are looking for the answer. Just a thought.

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1 hour ago, amsdenj said:

Ultimately Helix provides three levels of tone configuration: patches, snapshots within a patch, and foot switches to control thing within a snapshot. You can think about this in terms of patches for songs, snapshots for sections of songs, and foot switches for changing things within the section. This highlights the simplicity and flexibility of Helix for live performance.

 

Excellent explanation! One other advantage of snaps over presets is that there is a slight lag with potential momentary audio dropout when loading presets.

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13 hours ago, rd2rk said:

 

Excellent explanation! One other advantage of snaps over presets is that there is a slight lag with potential momentary audio dropout when loading presets.

 

He's not really comparing using different presets in the place of snapshots.  He's referring to the capabilities within a preset that can be assigned to a stomp as compared to using a snapshot.  For example, using multiple assignments on a stomp, or non-latching behaviors on a stomp.  Many Helix users aren't aware of these capabilities as viable options since they've always had snapshots available to them.  It's only us "old hands" around here that remember the days of the Helix before we even had snapshot capabilities.

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15 hours ago, amsdenj said:

Stomp switches can control up to 8 things, block states, or parameter min/max values.

 

Another great reason why I sneak into this forum daily to see what's being discussed.... I didn't realize you could set parameter min/max values with a stomp switch, now I know!

 

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  • 5 months later...

Hi all,

 

Great explanation about presets, snapshots and "stomps". This really helps, even though I don't have a Helix yet: I'm planning on buying one. I also saw the video of Jason Sadites on YouTube about setting up snapshots which is also really good. Explanations like this post and videos like Jason's make me think I can already operate a Helix without even having one.

 

The possibilities to set the preset mode (snap/stomp, stomp/snap, all snapshots...) make me think of the following situations: suppose you have set up your Helix for using presets in stomp/snap mode: the top switches are stompboxes, the bottom switches are snapshots. Let's say you have saved a number of presets like this, each of them with specific snapshots and specific "stomps" within them.

Now suppose, for some reason, for another gig, you need (new) presets where every footswitch is acting as a snapshot (all 8 of them).  I do know I can not use the "all snapshots preset mode" AND the stomp/snap at the same time: preset mode is set globally. It's either all snapshots mode, OR stomp/snap mode, not both at the same time.

 

So, the question is: what if I (yes, globally) switch to all snapshots preset mode and make some new presets with 8 snapshot within them? What will happen to my existing presets that are meant for using them as stomp/snap? Will the stomp/snaps savings still be there in those first presets I made? And vice versa: when I have saved those new "all snapshots presets", will they still be there like that, when I switch back to stomp/snap mode?

 

I hope my question is clear...

Thanks in advance!

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The global setting for  preset mode is completely independent of any preset data. Resetting the mode from Stomp/Snap to 8 Snap will not affect anything other than how the scribble strips and footswitches operate. In order to return to the previous display/operations all you have to do is reset the global setting. Everything will be as it was. It's perfectly fine to design presets for some gigs in one mode nad design presets for another gig in another mode. All you have to do is select the desired global setting as you start the gig.

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I have happilly integrateda ll three modes: Preset, Snap and Stomp.
I have my board set to 4 patch, 4 snap.
Each patch is an amp combination for clean and dirt - sometimes on the same amp. They are:

 

1)  Arbitator  (with clean/dirty via parameter changes in the snapshots)

2)  Plexi      (with clean/dirty via parameter changes in the snapshots)

3)  Cali Texas 1 and Cali TExas 2

4) Jazz Rivet and  Placator

Then 4 Snaphots in each of the patches:

 

1)   Clean Rhythm

2)   Drive Rhythm

3)   Clean Solo

4)   Drive Solo

 

the "cleanliness" or amount of drive is informed by the amp model, eg the Arbitrator clean solo has a bit of grit to it as does the Cali, while the Jazz Rivet is pristine.

 

Finally, at the press of the mode switch I have 11 switchable stomps..Wah, Filter, Compressor, Minator, Tube Screamer, Tremolo, Phaser, Chorus, Tape Echo, Delay, Reverb, plus the studio comp and a room reverb at the end. 

 

I have these set to recall so I can quickly change whatever is active witihn a patch and say have snap 4 (drive solo) with delay or whatever.  I find this set up covers everything  need to do.

 

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